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A Whiff of Success

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Abercrombie & Fitch is known for its “casual luxury” togs, its racy marketing and … its signature scent! Shoppers know when they are within 20 feet of an A&F store as the scent wafts into the mall or on to the street outside. Once inside, the aroma envelopes shoppers -- and most are happy to report that it lingers on the brand's apparel beyond several washings.

In December Abercrombie & Fitch, along with Prolitec, the company that supplies and services the retail chain’s scent equipment, were honored with the Harald Vogt Scent Marketer of the Year award, named in honor of the late founder of the Scent Marketing Institute. A&F uses a woody aroma called Fierce in its stores; it’s a combination of orange, fir, resin and Brazilian rosewood. Fierce is now the best-selling men’s fragrance in the United States.

“Abercrombie & Fitch was the first retail chain to commit to a strong olfactory branding strategy, and through their success have paved the way for other companies to do the same,” says Caroline Pieper-Vogt, president of the Scent Marketing Institute.

The concept of scent marketing is not new, but many consider it to be a new frontier on the advertising landscape. Having nearly exhausted the possibilities of auditory and visual marketing, it’s becoming more common for retailers, hotels and restaurants to work to develop a distinctive aroma that can play a role in amplifying consumer spending, attracting customers and creating memorable brands.

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